tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News December 17, 2011 2:00pm-2:30pm EST
>> this week on the journal ehe editorial report. the g.o.p. candidates square off in the last debate before the iowa caucuses, was it a game changer? >> with polls tightening the two frontrunners, the private business experience. the closer look at newt gingrich's dealing with freddie mac and mitt romney's time with bayne capital, how big a vulnerability will they be in a general election? >> welcome to the journal editorial report. i'm paul gigot.
they squared off in a debate. and showing newt gingrich, mitt romney and ron paul, and the others tried to make a final impression on iowa voters. >> i kind of like these debates, and i hope obama and i debate a lot and i'll get there early and we'll get it on and talk about our differences which are great. i tell you, i hope i am the tim tebow of the iowa caucuses. >> i think that people, neil, are coming around to finding that i mean the consistent conservative in in race. >> they're coming around to find that i'm not going to pander. i'm not going to contort myself into a pretzel to please any audience i'm in front of and i'm not going to sign those silly pledges and now what else i'm not going to show up at a donald trump doe bait. >> paul: so did they succeed? joining the panel, wall street
journal columnest dan hittinger-- did it change the contours of the race? >> i don't think so paul, i mean, i believe that the race is now between newt gingrich and mitt romney with ron paul probably playing the role of a spoiler. the others simply didn't perform strongly enough. they would have had to knock it out of the part. that said, rick perry can stay in this race, unlike the others, he does have money and money matters. he gave up a pretty credible performance and didn't blow himself up. but i think at this point it's pretty much congealing around romney and gingrich. >> paul: dorothy. >> yes, i think that's true, but i think that they all show something definitive about themselves. it's fascinating. you did see that santorum is innately depressed and you can see it from the lack of fight
and compared especially to michelle who went at it like the energizer bunny and couldn't be stopped and you see huntsman who is in a realm all by himself talking about transactional matters and what. >> paul: hey, i like the flat tax that he passed in utah and think his tax reform plan is pretty darn good. >> there is he' a big prom every time a politician says, i'm not going to pander, you go, oh. >> michele bachmann had a pretty good debate. the second debate in a row i think she punched above her weight. and newt gingrich's weakest moment. debate was responding to michele bachmann's charges over freddie mac. and so, i think she exposed some vulnerabilities there in the frontrunners. you're right, by and large the frontrunners pretty much laid off one another and let the second tier candidates go after them. >> and i want today deal with those questions separately
michele bachmann did attack, but did she make the case for herself? >> she needs strategically not to knock din grinch down and move on past iowa, she has to do well in iowa. >> i don't think so, it's been very odd to me that bachmann, santorum and huntsman, the way that they come out debate after debate and disorganizationed in the theme. >> she says she's the only conservative. >> so what? the american people are upset about several things, 9% unemployment, an economy that's dead in the water and whether their taxes are going to be raised or not. none of those subjects really came up in in debate. and so, they're-- santorum and bachmann and huntsman are trying to present other reasons why they should be reported. you have to connect with concerns of the american people. >> how well did gingrich
defend themselves. >> i think they he defended himself. as well as he could have. believe me, this was watched away by the second half that have debate and you could tell when michelle was at her fiery hot best. the tepid response from the audience was quite obvious to me, those are not the issues raising. assume that you hear gingrich talking i think his best moment was the pipeline. >> paul: the keystone pipeline. >> the keystone stuff he had everything to boil down everything from the left wing radical to the president'sen people are unemployment. >> i think gingrich had a very strong debate. i mean, i wish he would get over himself. he compared himself to thomas jefferson, abraham lincoln, fdr. that was only in the first. (laughter) >> i want to listen to a bite of ron paul talking about iran. >> for you to say that there's some scientific evidence and some people arguing that maybe in a year they might have a weapon, there's a lot more
saying they don't have it, there's no u.n. evidence of that happening. you know what i really fear about what's happening here, it's another iraq coming, it's war propaganda going on and arguing to me the greatest danger that we will have a president that will overreact. >> paul: jason, give him credit for consistency, he hits that line every time, is that a winner politicalically. >> no, that's exactly what disqualifies him from becoming nominee, but ron paul gave one of the most interesting responses of the night and it was a nonresponse. when asked he will eventually support. if he'll support the eventual nominee shall the republican nominee, he did not answer that question and i think that scares a lot of the republican establishment because it means he's leaving open the door to a third party run which could cause a lo the of problems. >> if romney-- i mean, if ron paul does well
in iowa is this disqualifying. >> he has support. >> he has support, but so do many of the leaders we've gone to war with, consistency? they're consistent. what are they consistent about? if you looked at ron paul, you heard, especially when he goes on a bit, the bubble that he's in. more intense the emotions, the less-- >> all right, we will watch. when we come back, newt gingrich and mitt romney trade attacks over their time in private business. who experiences a greater political vulnerability? our panel weighs in next. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually se arthritis symptoms.
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well, almost everybody... ♪ would you like 50% more cash? no! but it's more money. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? woah! [ giggles ] >> well, newt gingrich and mitt romney have been fighting for much of the week over time in the private sector, with romney calling on gingrich to return the 1.6 million dollars he made consulting for mortgage giant freddie mac. in thursday night's debate.
michele bachmann, among others, joined in. >> evidence is that speak are gingrich took 1.6 million dollars. you don't need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be i ins lens peddling with those in washington d.c. to get them to do your bidding and the bidding is to keep the began degr grand owes freddie mac going. >> we're joined by astandpoint editorial page editor, and mary, was bachmann attack fair? >> fair and a direct hit. for a guy running for outsider shall the tea party candidate, the anti-establishment guy, i mean, newt gingrich's activities with freddie mac are damning, and i think he
should be be more straight forward. to claim that he was a consultant who was acting as a historian for freddie mac? that lowers his credibility and i think she was-- it was well within her rights to go after him on that. >> all right, let's hear gingrich's response? >> i will state unequivocally for every person watching tonight, i have never once changed my positions because of any kind of payment because the truth is, i was a national figure who's doing just fine, doing a whole variety of things, including writing best selling books, making speeches, and the fact is, i only chose to work with people whose values i shared and having people have a chance to buy a house is a value i believe still is important in america. >> paul: so, james, affordable housing he's basically saying i was in favor of affordable housing and freddie mac was for affordable housing and share their values and i was
on their payroll. >> it got worse, channelling barney frank and how the sponsored enterprises were valuable at promoting home ownership was a good idea. as if the financial crisis never happened. and as far as the first explanation that he was acting as a historian, i'm sure there are a the lot of historians around the country where to learn, there's now 30 grand a month retainer watching for them in washington d.c. and the point is he's right at the moment. he was teaching freddie mac how to avoid reform just as we were heading to the mortgage-- >> he says he urged them to reform. part of his message. >> he said that and then it came out. their old publictations, 2007. >> freddie mac's-- >> where he's basically lauding the general model of this kind of government funded-- >> on that point i want to get the quote from that period just to buttress james' point here, i would be cautious about fundamentally changing
their role or the model itself, end quote. he was referring to freddie mac and fannie mae. >> paul, we could sit here for a couple of hours trying it nail down exactly what his position was on freddie and fannie, because he just, he keeps changing this, for newt is the equivalent of mitt romney's massachusetts mandate. these two guys will not stand down from what is one of their key vulnerabilities. you can imagine once the campaign gets going and the romney campaign will probably do this, running ad commercials with ominous black and white images of newt saying one thing after another to try to explain his position. and it all ads up to, you were a washington insider, defending one of the most indefensible institutions in the city. >> and here is my-- part of his defense is look, i was a private consultant. this was not while i was in congress and i was entitled to make a buck and to go around and work for companies who were willing to pay me based
on my past position and my stature and ability to give them strategic advice. what's wrong with a private guy making a dollar? >> yes, the tea party is looking for somebody who rejects that, he can't say at the same time he was part of it and he thinks it's a bad way for washington to operate. on top of that, this is not an isolated incident. he has his lobbying he did for the ethanol industry. >> he would say, no, he never lobbied for them. never formally lobbied. i know there's a technical definition. >> i stand corrected he was a consultant and he recommended mandates for health care, he's got a track record of looking for big government intervention when he thinks it's right. it's not what the tea party is looking for in a president. >> james, what does this tell us about his philosophy of government? >> well, it tells us it's very flexible and remember the
revolution in 1994, a lot of conservatives justly appreciate him for that, but you realize as time goes on and especially when there's a financial incentive, his ideology is flexible. every politician who goes off and sets up a big lobbying shop probably tells himself he's an entrepreneur and he's not. this is trading on government. >> okay. james, when we come back we'll take a closer look at mitt romney's private business record and will his time at bain can't be an asset or a liability in a general election campaign? >> thank you. >> thank you, please. my doctor told me calcium
companies and laying off employees, that i would be glad to then listen to him. >> paul: that was newt gingrich earlier this wook attacking mitt romney over his time at bayne capital, the private equity firm he led for 15 years and gingrich walked those comments back telling iowa public television thursday he regrets taking a shot at romney's private business record, but how big a political liability will romney's time at bayne be in the general election? james first. gingrich's attack fair? >> unfair, unfair, and going with the hollywood, the stereo type of business people that they sort of exist and take pleasure from closing down companies and firing them and raiding their pension funds, it's especially unfair in this case. what mitt romney did and he kind of pioneered this model in the private equity business, he had a team of management companies that would buy companies and fix and resell them.
no question sometimes people go got laid off. >> what they also did was fund new upstart companies and he talks about staples and should, and this began at one location outside of boston and his funding basically built it into a national chain, but others, technology companies and gardner group and-- >> let's hear how romney defended himself during the debate. >> i think the president is going to level the same attack and he's going to go after me and say in businesses that you've invested in they didn't all succeed, some fail and some people lay people off. and we invested in over a hundred businesses and added tens of thousands of jobs. in the real world, that the president has not lived in, i actually think he doesn't understand that not every business succeeds. >> all right. mary, how effective was that as a response? >> it was extremely effective for two reasons, one, you notice that mitt romney did not anything about newt gingrich there, he only talked
about the president which i think was brilliant. but, also, i think, that basically with bayne capital wag doing was get to the heart of capitalism the heart of the way the american economy works and should work. and you know, companies that are not profitable shouldn't be kept alive and they should go under and thus creative destruction and new companies rise up from that and if you don't let the economy do that, you're not going to have a healthy prosperous society. >> one of the things we didn't get to, part of mitt romney's response he compared what the president did at general motors and said the fix of general motors had to layoff people as well. but-- >> close dealerships. >> right, close dealerships, does that mean that mitt romney essentially conceded that the general motors bailout worked? >> he might well be. i think he's trying to make a comparison how things work in the real world and i have to agree with mary, i was very encouraged by romney's answer. i had a lot of concern that he
simply wasn't going to step up the attacks on bayne and he's beginning to develop a response and that's good. having said that, i think it's a huge vulnerability for him, for better or worse, it's too bad, but bayne involved huge of apartments of money it's financial engineering and it's going to be very possible for the obama campaign to make it look on television like something evil. and he has to be prepared for that. >> paul: on that point i think we're going to know before, if romney is the nominee, before the campaign is over every one of the pem who lost their jobs up close and personal by name. they're going to be visiting your home. >> absolutely. mitt romney is going to have to defend it and he's got a good story to tell, it's not financial engineering or trading of exotic securities, the first fund at bayne was 37 million dollars generally small investments and often small companies and companies
across various sectors and it's a good story if he's able to tell it. if his practical election argument is, i'm the guy in private business who knows how to create jobs, the obama campaign will say no you don't you destroyed as many jobs as you created and underline that argument. doesn't romney have to take the argument above just how many jobs he create today an almost philosophical level and moral level and to get to your point about here is why the private sector model is better than government growth? >> of course he does and it was only the beginning of that. it was a step one towards doing that and he has to do that more aggressively and like you say, do it philosophically, he wins that argument. i don't think that-- first of all, i don't think that there's any evidence that he destroyed more jobs than he created. but, secondly, i mean, this is going to be an election about how the u.s. economy should be be structured. so, that's fundamentally he's right in the right spot. >> we don't have much time,
dan, but newt gingrich may have done him a favor by forcing him to respond to this early. >> he did do him a favor. obama issing go to do it in spades when he campaigns against romney. and just as mary said, the american economy going into the future not the past. >> paul: we have to take one more break and when we come back, hits and misses of the week. get the technology they love, on the network they deserve. and video chat with up to 9 of your friends with the galaxy nexus by samsung, or get the samsung stratosphere, and for a limited time, get twice the data for the same low price. verizon.
. >> jamie: iment time for hits and misses of the week, jason. >> this is a mess for attorney general eric holder who gave a special on voter i.d., supposedly suppressed minority turnout in indiana and georgia where the laws have passed. afterward minor increased and you would think that the attorney general would be most important about valid integrity which is what it's about. >> dorothy. >> a miss to secretary of
state clinton for holding the organization of islamic agencies in washington this week, which was designed to threaten essentially and to criminalize perhaps any defensive speech against muslims. for hosting this farce and failing to stand up against religion-- clinton and her agents u most-- >> dan. >> a hit for guys who want to build the biggest airplanes, rutten and paul allen says he's going to put up 200 million dollars po build planes to put up stop light and this is the wright brothers, aen we need that. >> paul: could be better than nasa. this is this edition of the journal editor ral report, thanks to my pan